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Author Topic: Roof leak on an older motorhome  (Read 17997 times)

stppinz

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Roof leak on an older motorhome
« on: March 05, 2009, 06:08:48 PM »
I purchased a 1988 26 ft Tioga last spring for $2000. Everything works great, gen., fridge, A/C...Never had a motorhome before, but couldn't pass up the price. We only use the rig a few times a last year and the family loved it. For what it is it has worked out great.

On our last outing last fall it rained pretty good and we found out we had a few roof leaks. I tried to fix the leaks with eternabond with no luck. I really don't want to put money into a new roof for obvious reasons. The job would probbly cost more than what I paid for the whole rig. I know it wouldn't be as nice as a new roof, but does anyone see any  negative issues in just getting some tar or anyother roof sealer and coat the whole roof? You can tell patching has been tried by the previous owner multiple times.

Thanks for your input.
 

Ron

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 06:24:13 PM »
Sometimes it can be very difficult to determine exactly where the leak is.  The leak on the outside can be on the opposite side or end of where it appears on the inside. I would venture to say this is more the norm as far as leaks are concerned. 
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

rjf7g

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 07:26:30 PM »
How are you figuring out where to put the Eternabond?  I would say that there's another spot or two you missed.  I have a 92 Tioga and had a leak in the cabinet on the right side of the door.  It turns out that it was coming from the awning brace.  It's not easy to find a leak.
2007 Gulf Stream Innsbruck 36FRS
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2003 Club Car GS
1999 American Cruiser

Pat723

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 07:59:41 PM »
STPPINZ

Here is some thing to think about, I went over to our local Rv Dealer about 2 or 3 years ago and asked them what is the easiest way to find a link in your camper what was said to me was to smoke the unit. I have never heard of this,  I did not have this done by the way , but what I was told the smoke that they use will not harm or hurt the interior and there is not smoke smells or anything like that afterwards either. If I remember right I think I was told the cost was about $100.00 to smoke the unit. The reason I did not fix the leak is because the 5vr we had was a little small and we had been looking to update. Maybe call a RV dealer in your area and see if they will do something like that, just food for thought.

Pat :)
Drive it like you stole it
Get out of my way I'm going camping.

Ron

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 08:31:34 PM »
Another way is to get a blower, like a furnace blower, and set it in a window and seal it up, close the RV and blow air in then wash the rig with soapy water.  Seen this done once on a class C and the leak bubbled nowhere near where the leak was thought to be.  Never had to try it myself.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Pat723

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 09:34:51 PM »
Ron

That is a good ideal, got to clean the roof for the repair anyway :)
Pat
Drive it like you stole it
Get out of my way I'm going camping.

Ron

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 10:37:40 PM »
Sure cann't hurt anything and like you said you will have a clean roof.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Frizlefrak

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 02:17:31 AM »
does anyone see any  negative issues in just getting some tar or anyother roof sealer and coat the whole roof? You can tell patching has been tried by the previous owner multiple times. 

Well....tarring the whole roof would most certainly work.  And in all likelihood, would seal your leaks.  There is, however, one major drawback.....if you ever need to get on your roof to work on anything, your clothes are going to look like you went swimming in the LaBrea Tar Pits.  And the tar will attract and trap.....well...everything until it hardens completely.  We actually did this on an old camper trailer a dozen years ago.  The thing was in a hail storm that pounded the bejeepers out of every panel on it, and created several leaks.  The insurance company paid a total loss, and I bought the salvage back for $100.  We tarred the roof, repaired the broken glass etc on the outside, and used it for another year while shopping for a new one.  Wound up selling it for $600.  It never leaked after we tarred it.  But there was one other downside....black streaks down the side would appear periodically.  A can of WD-40 and a rag, and they were gone.

For what you paid for the rig, I would say tarring the roof is an option to seal it up.  You could very easily exceed it's value in more orthodox repairs, but that doesn't preclude doing some bubba repairs and enjoying the unit for what it is.

1275gtsport

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 09:14:23 AM »
There is a product by Storm King at Home Depot Called
RV Heat Reflector
   Model:  SG403216
   Store SKU #:   1000410634
   bright aluminum colour
   reflects heat
   ideal for metal roofs
 And as a bonus it WILL stop leaks. I have a 1974 class C that now has many coats of this stuff on the roof. I coat the whole roof and then keep an eye on the seams and from time to time re apply as needed. I have only had the unit for a year but the PO included a couple of part cans of this and if you cover everything well it works and so far nothing drips down the side and it looks pro.
as long as you have a metal roof this is a ticket.

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 09:16:07 AM »
It doesn't have to be yuchy tar - any of the white or silver, paint on, rubber roof coatings should do the job, assuming it actually is the roof. You can get mobile home roof coatings such as Kool Seal at most hme or hardware stores.

But if the leak is in a seam at the edge or around some raised projection like a air conditioner, skylight, or antenna, painting on a roof coat may still not get it. Only caulk applied in the right place will resolve those. Ditto if the leak is high in a sidewall, such as the awning mount mentioned earlier here. Water can  travel a long way inside a roof before exiting through an opening or seam in the interior.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

stppinz

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Re: Roof leak on an older motorhome
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 04:41:38 PM »
Thanks for all the imput. Helps a lot. All the leaks seem to be leaking through all 4 the dome lights so I can't really say where they are coming from. But I do think the leaks are coming from around the AC, Vents and the seam where the cab over is (class C). I do have a metal roof so it looks like some of the products mentions might work. I just want to make this rig work for a couple of more years until we can upgrade. I have been surprised how much I like having an RV. My wife had to talk me into it.

Thanks again. It is almost warm enough to start trying things out. Luckily I live in Utah (where we usually use the RV) where in the summer rain is at a minimum.